Sam was left permanently paralysed after a car accident in December 2009. The accident was devastating but it didn’t stop Sam from living his life to the fullest.
Sam’s parents, Sarah and James, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary a few weeks ago. Around the same time, they noticed that Back Up was celebrating 30 years of supporting people affected by spinal cord injury (SCI).
“We have stepped through the impact of this life change for him and us without much difficulty,” Sarah says. “But that is probably not the norm and the sort of services Back Up provides are enormously important for navigating this change.”
“We had 30 years under our belts and you have 30 years under your belts, it seemed like a nice idea to do something to mark that,” Sarah says. They decided to join our anniversary celebrations by baking 30 cakes. All the money raised will help Back Up to provide vital services to people affected by SCI.
So far, Sarah and James have completed 12 bakes but already received 27 orders from friends and family who want to support the cause. “The challenge has been well-received by my friends and is putting a smile on their faces,” Sarah says.
Sophie Tandy is aiming to spend 30 hours in a wheelchair to celebrate Back Up’s 30th anniversary and raise awareness of spinal cord injury. The 25-year-old works at Wellspect Healthcare, a corporate partner that supports Back Up’s life skills courses. In September 2015, Wellspect gave Sophie the opportunity to volunteer on one of our courses in Belfast.
During the course, she supported people with spinal cord injury to improve their everyday skills, such as getting around the city and using public transport. Sophie also spent one day pushing around the city in a wheelchair. “It was scary, tiring and at times frustrating,” Sophie says. “But it also gave me a whole new perspective on how people live their lives when they have no choice but to use a wheelchair.”
After her volunteering experience, Sophie wanted to do more for people affected by spinal cord injury and decided to challenge herself by spending 30 hours in a wheelchair. “I thought it would be a great way to fundraise and raise awareness for Back Up and also educate other non-disabled people on the challenges wheelchair users face,” Sophie says.
Sophie is doing her wheelchair challenge on February 1st, the day Back Up celebrates its 30thanniversary. The support and commitment we have from people like Sophie is vital, as it allows us to continue support more people when they need us the most.
So far, Sophie has raised £630 for Back Up but has plans to raise even more. You can support her here